Excerpt for books, bits & bobs by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

books, bits & bobs

By Daniel Abrahams

Published by Daniel Abrahams at Smashwords

Copyright 2017 Daniel Abrahams

The characters and words within this publication are fiction any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental. All characters and words within this publication and the creation of are under copyright of the author Daniel Abrahams in accordance of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. This book shall not be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise disposed of by way of trade in any form or cover other than that in which it is published. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any forms or by means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

Daniel Abrahams is a London born sports, entertainment and fashion journalist who has worked on numerous regional, national and international newspaper and magazine titles over the past 20 years.

In 2013, he ghostwrote Through Adversity: The Fight for Rugby League in the RAF.

In 2016, he released his first work on fiction: The Wooden Heart.

This is his second work of fiction.

Follow him on Twitter @abrahamsdan390 and Facebook: DPAbrahams or his website:

Through Adversity: The Fight for Rugby League in the RAF is available through Scratching Shed Publishing Ltd.

The author would like to sincerely thank -

Tim Jones for his work on creating the cover design.

Emma Cook for your enthusiastic read-throughs.

Jason Fuller, a life-saver with an eagle eye.

Sponge Beattie for the cover photo:

Reference: Collins English Dictionary

All rights reserved. Copyright © Daniel Abrahams 2011-2017.

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First of all, thank you for choosing this collection of work; I hope you find it as enjoyable to read as I did to write. As far back as I can remember I have been intrigued by the ‘less is more’ aspect of short stories and within this little world of words you now hold, you’ll find tales in varying shapes and sizes, styles and approaches.

Speaking of styles and approaches, take the titles Broken, Cuppa, Your Song and Skylar for example, all of these were written during the period of a week in 2011. I wrote them in a linear fashion, without any initial beginning, middle or end and each in one sitting. They then purposely underwent minor grammatical changes and a spell check. So, they are here basically as they were put onto the page, or MacBook screen. I began this approach, in one way to test myself out, something I like to do in all aspects of life, especially writing, and also because I had always been struck by the cinematic quote paraphrasing of William S. Burroughs’s: ‘Exterminate all rational thought’ and that ‘all rewriting is censorship’ statements in the film adaptation of Naked Lunch.The original version of the Burroughs comment was I believe a reaction to Tristan Tzara’s cut-up method in Dada Manifesto on Feeble Love and Bitter Love, which inspired him to popularise the method in his Nova Trilogy using his own version of the method. In this case the line I refer to is the film version, which really resonated with me, so much so I had to be talked out of using a similar ‘unedited’ approach in all my writing, by my good friend Jason Fuller.

I limited the linear pieces featured here to four, as I wanted to avoid any possibility of stylistic influence in any other writing. So, in a way these are a homage of sorts and as such I am not sure if I should say: “Thanks” or “Sorry Bill”? Maybe I will leave it to you to decide.

Now to the title, books, bits & bobs. This comes from a now sadly defunct comic shop in Kingston upon Thames, which sold all sorts of American comics, horror and film magazine titles. Many a time I scoured its shelves as a youngster for precious Silver Surfer editions and other Marvel and DC characters, it being the only shop of its kind in the Surrey area and reachable by train before I began to travel up to London.Of the shorter pieces included here, many were created in a variety of places, from pubs in London to bars throughout the world or on train, plane and car journeys to all over really. In the main they were all done with the aim of leaving room for more, room for the reader to wonder, add their own thoughts or simply to ponder on at a later date. When I look at them now, I can clearly remember the ‘that’s enough’ moment, when I put my pen away or stopped recording, never to return. They remained in the corners of notebooks, on text messages to my girlfriend Lisa, with the caveat of her storing them in case I deleted. They can be found on shop receipts, lottery, rail and plane tickets and immigration forms and on magazine covers or pages, all waiting until they were finally put together here.It is worth adding while I think on it, that hardly any, if any, were written sat at a traditional desk or table. There must be something in that and also what about the places they were born in? That’s for another time, for now please enjoy and once again thank you.

For my uncle Shane, for never questioning unless it is to inspire, for always believing and being true of heart and in my corner.


1: Watch Over

2: Your Song

3: Short Story

4: Window

5: The Pursuit of Happiness

6: Skylar

7: Danciness

8: Dad

9: The Idea

10: The Pier

11: Broken

12: Life

13: Conversation Piece

14: Barista

15: Cuppa

16: The Noise

Watch Over

His love offered her a chance to see life universal, but she preferred the road ahead.

“That’s fine,” he said as she left the room. “You go to him and make your way, I’ll watch you from the stars and make sure you’re OK” …

Your Song

It’s not a defining moment as such, it’s more a defining thought or impression. The impression made on those who find you first. It is how they identify you and then frame your last image.

Contradict that with the last thought you have before lights out, that all-encompassing sound or emotion, before either panic, blind terror or a simple thud overcomes everything. What is that defining thing? Well, the last song you hear or are listening to, if you are unlucky enough to die in a car crash and the first one playing when you are found.

Phil’s experience of this came and went with the snapping of tree branches and the roar of his Alfa Romeo’s gearbox as it lurched through the bulkhead and into the foot-well… synchromesh, rods, selectors, teeth, lugs, fingers, crushed knee, femur, patella, pain, agony and infusion as the innards of a man-made world burst into the human. This came seconds before the car tipped into a ditch sending his body lurching forward, crashing his forehead against the top of the wind-screen frame, snapping his neck, while his rib cage collapsed restrained by his seatbelt. Within seconds of Jason Lytle’s euphoric lyrics: ‘Stay at home put a record on, listen to the songs’, pulsing through the speakers as Grandaddy performed its Lo-fi fuzzed psychedelic thrash song Summer Here Kids, the outer universe impacted on Phil’s personal space.

The speeding Alfa’s front nearside tyre had clipped the edge of the kerb causing it to burst. A spray of water first greeted the rushing inner air to the outside world and within seconds the tiny split tore along the wall of the tyre and began to alter the trajectory of the vehicle. As it did, Phil lifted his right hand from the steering wheel to emulate driving down through the strings on Lytle’s guitar, the left-hand side of the car dipped and the vehicle spun violently to the right across the road, sending it smashing into said ditch and various flora and fauna. Something of the moment remained as the iPod finally settled on the back seat.

The last piano notes to the song sounding out as the various breaking, crunching and grinding noises from the crash became audible until a lull fell on the scene. That something of the moment would change as the shuffle selection mode moved on to another track, as the tiny musical universe continued unaffected by the chaos around it.

Only minutes before the song had seemed to be the perfect fitting tribute to an evening of hard work and good fortune, which would surely secure the picture postcard life Phil had dreamed of, but had never dared to hope for. Now the pieces seemed to fit together, he had calmed down a lot of things, made his ex-girlfriend realise he should be allowed access to his kids, even though he had ignored them for the last five years while he was living it up in Ibiza. When that buzz had gone, he returned to Blighty and he wanted things sorted out. His run in with his brother had been a low point to the evening he thought, as the car sped along the winding country lane away from his house. He recalled the first blow landed onto his face, the first kick as he fell to the floor, the bile rising in his throat as he began shouting and the screams and nail marks on his neck from his brother’s girlfriend as she pulled him back to halt the onslaught. It was all her bloody fault anyway, how was he supposed to turn her down all those years ago during those drug-fuelled sweaty afternoons in countless low rent hotels? She was the one who stopped taking precautions and the abortion was the only sensible thing to do. The subsequent complications were nothing to do with him.

So she couldn’t have kids because of the abortion, her fault, not his. At least his brother had seen the truth and realised what sort of woman he would be marrying. His words had finally got through he thought - his brother wouldn’t go ahead with the big day. He smiled and thought his return was worth it in the end, even after all the tears and his brother’s broken nose. He had to tell him, it wasn’t right if he hadn’t, she was a slut and his timing was perfect just days before they headed down the aisle. Thank God he had intervened.

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